Providing a flexible learning environment: are on-line lectures the answer?

Barbara C Panther, Wendy Wright, Jennifer A Mosse


As universities embrace new technologies to enhance students’ learning experiences and increase flexibility for student learning, tertiary students are increasingly presented with a wider range of learning resources to support their studies. This study investigates ways in which a diverse group of undergraduate science students use the resources that are provided to them. The majority of these students favoured face-to-face lectures due to the ability to interact with lecturers and other students and the ability to ask questions in real time. Recorded lectures were seen to be useful for clarification and revision, largely because they can be paused and rewound, facilitating review of difficult material. Text-based resources such as study guides remain highly valued and highly used, especially for students working in off-campus mode. On-line discussion forums are not seen as a substitute for face to face interaction; a need for active facilitation of such forums is highlighted.

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